Marguerite’s – The Stuffie That Stole My Heart

After a relaxing trip to Martha’s Vineyard, it was time for the roadtrip home. People everywhere from Roadfood to Chowhound swore up and down that if we didn’t stop at Marguerite’s in Westport, MA, we were savage heathens who were missing a chance to experience really old fashioned, authentic New England fare.
We might be savage, but in NO WAY are we heathens.
We walked into a small, casual restaurant that was pretty empty at 11:45…
and by 12:30 the place was PACKED and there was a line out the door. Either there was an AARP drug smuggling situation going on here or the food was fantastic.
Either way, we were going to feel GREAT after lunch.
The clam chowder was in the upper echelon of clam chowders, for sure. Rich but not heavy, thick but not cloying, fresh and clam-y without being fishy or salty. Thick cut bacon and a heavy hand with the thyme added smoky and earthy notes to the incredibly fresh and comforting soup. We got the last cup of the day-at noon-and with good reason. If they had had more, I would have gotten at least one more cup, if not a bowl. It was that delicious.
Really, any time you can submerge crackers in pottery and come up with cream-injected carby goodness…it’s a great time.
You didn’t think I was ending this road trip without another stuffie, did you? And I am damn glad I didn’t. Because this was definitely the QUEEN OF THE QUAHOGS! The filling was incredibly moist, but not soggy or mushy. It had huge pieces of fresh and ridiculously tender clams, juicy and garlicky linguicia, sauteed peppers and onions, and enough spice in there to make me grab my water glass.
Yes, I know I should have reached for milk instead of water.
But since I’m not a 12 year old in the 1940′s…I don’t drink milk at meals.
The filling was homemade and might have even had cornbread in there…I detected a very earthy, hearty taste from the stuffing. The onions were properly translucent and the peppers still retained their snap and bite. This had a definite Latin flavor to it, with the heat and garlic from the linguicia. This was everything a stuffie should be-a symphony of clams, veggies, sausage and stuffing all combined into a moist but not gluten-y mixture that fills your mouth with the tastes of the sea and of the land.
Perfection.
I got the scallop Caesar salad, a special of the day that, under normal circumstances, I would NEVER have ordered. I feel strongly that Caesar salads with some type of protein on them in American cuisine-focused restaurants are one step up from ordering a hamburger at a taco place. But, something made me get this-perhaps the fact that the only vegetable I had eaten that week were potatoes in the fried form had something to do wit hit. And you know what? This was GREAT! Cheesy, lightly garlicky, lemony Caesar dressing that had none of the creamy gloop factor lesser dressings so often have. The Parmesan was nutty and sharp, the croutons were CLEARLY freshly made and the scallops were just outstanding. Sweet, meaty, almost tasting fatty in their smooth and rich quality. Truly the exception to the “don’t order the Caesar” rule.
And yet…I wouldn’t call Marguerite’s a destination restaurant. It was totally delicious, well priced and seemed to have something on the menu for everyone, but there wasn’t really a WOW factor, other than the quahogs. Those stuffies are definitely worth a stop, but paired with the rest of the food, this is more of a great stop on your way than a destination in and of itself. And I hope that you all do get a chance to visit Marguerite’s, which was the perfect way to end my Quahog Chronicles.
Marguerites Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Marebare grew up right outside of Westport and went to high school in Dartmouth! Love me some stuffed quahogs :)

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